by Tony Perkins
March 28, 2007
On March 26, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case of Fausey v. Hiller, in which FRC submitted an amicus curiae brief through our friends at the Alliance Defense Fund. We hoped that the Supreme Court would take the opportunity to clarify the law on the question of third-party visitation rights.
FRC contended that fit parents have the right to direct the upbringing of their children without state interference. For the state to force parents to accept visitation from other parties, who are not the legal parents of the child, is an unacceptable infringement. Currently this can occur when a court deems it to be “in the best interests of the child to have third-party visits.” Such decisions risk reinforcing a growing government trend to “micromanage” the American family.
If our courts go too far and start overruling parents on these issues, then the results will not only promote worthy goals—like encouraging grandparents’ access to their grandchildren—but also access by unrelated adults, whose presence the judges think would be good for children. It’s not hard to see what harm judges could do with such an elastic standard.